The governor's race, being about nothing of any great import, now revolves around the question of how Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman handled an exchange over a voice mail showing an unidentified member of Brown's campaign suggesting that they portray Whitman as a "whore" because of her positions on law enforcement pensions.
Whitman challenged Brown on the matter in this week's debate and did not accept an apology from Brown -- an apology that was offered in a back-handed way. According to a report in Miller-McCune (a California-based magazine that examines research), a recent study found that confronting men over sexist behavior is good for the men, who respond with "heightened sensitivity regarding gender issues."
The study used college-age males -- so who knows if the results apply to Brown, who is 72. But the research does suggest that Brown might do well to offer a more full-throated apology -- and then thank Whitman for pressing him to do it.